privacy evergreens #167754 - Ask Extension


privacy evergreens #167754

Asked February 22, 2014, 10:45 PM EST

I have a small B&B in Brandon, Vermont (hardiness zone 4-5).  I had to cut some dead hemlocks on land bordering my neighbor.  Now his house is in
full view and not conducive to having an attractive, private property.  
What kind of evergreen is appropriate and relatively fast growing to plant on our border?

Rutland County Vermont

Expert Response

There is a lot more to consider when selecting a tree than just aesthetic purpose. It is best to start with location and tree needs so you have a healthy stand for many years. Evergreens in general are slow growing, but one peculiarly is that a smaller initial tree eventually catches up and grows faster than one that was more mature at planting. So you also need to consider how fast. For a privacy screen you might consider planting more smaller trees closer than mature spacing, and then removing some as they mature and fill in. You also might consider more low growing shrubs if that suits your purpose, as they grow to mature size faster. For a guide to all the factors to consider when selecting a tree and a list of recommended trees for Vermont, please see: There is also a Northern Tree Selector website to guide you to the most suitable trees for your purpose at: All that said, if your site is suitable for them, then the most appropriate family would probably be in the White Cedar family, followed by Hemlock, Spruce, Pine and Fir families, in that order.
Marilyn Sallee Replied March 10, 2014, 9:42 AM EDT

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